Steamboat Mountain is a man-killer. The road curves and twists over the mountain and sheer cliffs drop away sharply from the road. Countless trucks and truckers have been lost there.
One day in winter, the police noticed the sun shining off some chrome down the cliff and found the remains of a truck there. The driver was dead. The police guessed he had gone over the side two days ago before a snowstorm arrived.
A letter was found with the driver. He might live for a couple of hours until the cold got to him. The letter is as follows:
My Darling Wife,
This is a letter that no man ever wants to write, but I’m lucky enough to have some time to say what I’ve forgotten to say so many times. I love you, sweetheart.
You used to kid me that I loved the truck more than you because I spent more time with her. I do love this truck. She’s seen me through tough times and tough places. I could always count on her in a long haul and she was speedy in the stretches. She never let me down.
But you want to know something? I love you for the same reasons. You’ve seen me through the tough times and places, too.
Remember the first truck? It kept us broke all the time. So, you went out and got a job so that we could pay the rent and the bills. Every cent I made went into the truck while your money kept us in food with a roof over our heads.
I remember that I complained about the truck, but I don’t remember you ever complaining when you came home tired from work and I asked you for money to go on the road again. If you did complain, I guess I didn’t hear you. I was too wrapped up with my problems to think of yours.
I think now of all the things you gave up for me. The clothes, the holidays, the parties, the friends. You never complained and somehow I never remembered to thank you for being you. It was your sacrifices and determination as much as mine that finally got the new truck.
I was so proud of the new truck. I was proud of you too, but I never told you that. I took it for granted, but if I had spent as much as time talking with you as I did polishing chrome, perhaps I would have.
In all the years I’ve pounded the pavement, I always knew your prayers rode with me. But this time I probably cannot make it. I want to say the things that should have been said so many times before. The things that were forgotten because I was too concerned about the truck and the job.
I’m thinking about the missed anniversaries and birthdays. The school plays and hockey games that you went alone because I was on the road.
I’m thinking about the lonely nights you spent alone, wondering where I was and how things were going. I’m thinking of all the times I thought of calling you just to say hello and somehow didn’t get around to. I’m thinking of the peace of mind I had knowing that you were at home with the kids, waiting for me.
The family dinners where you spent all your time telling your folks why I couldn’t make it. I was busy changing oil; I was busy looking for parts; I was sleeping because I was leaving early the next morning. There was always a reason, but somehow they don’t seem very important to me right now.
When we were married, you didn’t know how to change a light bulb. Within a couple of years, you were fixing the furnace during a blizzard while I was waiting for a load in Florida. You became a pretty good mechanic, helping me with repairs, and I was mighty proud of you when you jumped into the cab and backed up over the rose bushes.
I was proud of you when I pulled into the yard and saw you sleeping in the car waiting for me. Whether it was two in the morning or two in the afternoon, you’re beautiful, you know. I guess I haven’t told you that lately, but you are.
I made lots of mistakes in my life, but if I only ever made one good decision, it was when I asked you to marry me. You never could understand what it was that kept me trucking. I couldn’t either, but it was my way of life and you stuck with me. Good times, bad times, you were always there. I love you, sweetheart, and I love the kids.
It’s funny I guess, but what I have now is the truck that ruled over our lives for so long. But it can’t return my love. Only you can do that. For the first time since we’ve been together, I’m really alone. I need you so badly, and I know it’s too late.
You’re a thousand miles away but I feel you here with me. I can see your face and feel your love and I’m scared to make the final run alone.
Tell the kids that I love them very much and if possible, don’t let the boys drive any truck for a living.
I guess that’s about it, I love you very much, honey. Take care of yourself and always remember that I loved you more than anything in life. I just forgot to tell you.
I love you,